Look out Max Brenner and Koko Black! The CBD has a new chocolate cafe and it comes from the Swiss maitre chocolatiers Lindt. I was very excited to discover that they were opening their first store in Victoria, as I’ve always made time for a pilgrimage to their Martin Place store during my visits to Sydney.
The Melbourne store is housed in a white ornately carved historic chamber, until recently occupied by the National Australia Bank. From the ceiling dangle orbs made up of twisted caramel glass, imported from Italy. Floor level it’s a hubbub of activity and happy conversation as young and old indulge in various forms of chocolately goodness.
The menu offers breakfast pastries, lunch items and then chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. Give the overpriced run-of-the-mill sandwiches a miss ($12) and head straight to the degustation platter ($20 for one person, but really a perfect size for two people). The dark or milk chocolate platter delivers the ultimate chocolate fix; a scoop of chocolate icecream, a little jug of rich dark chocolate sauce, a chocolate truffle, a slightly too-chilled and thus sticky macaroon, a shard of smooth chocolate embedded with hazelnuts and a slice of three-tier chocolate mouse cake. Not bad for a Friday night dinner!
Lindt chocolate appears to be the flavour of the month, as the cafe and tantalising retail shop are amazingly busy at the moment. My friendly waiter told me that it’s constantly busy from about 11am until closing (7pm most nights, 9pm Friday and Saturdays), so unless your stomach can handle chocolate in the early hours, be prepared to queue for a table.
Update: If you buy 2 chocolate blocks from the Lindt Chocolat Cafe, you get the 3rd one free (which equates to $9 for 3 blocks). In the interests of research, so far I have sampled the mint, pear and orange dark chocolate blocks – all very good when my brain needs a post-lunch kick start as it struggles over a particularly dull contract. This cafe is waaaay too convenient for my office.